Israeli Settlements Have “No Legal Validity”

On 23 December 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of a Security Council of Resolution 2334 (2016) which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” under international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. “The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable,” the UN chief’s spokesperson Continue reading

Dr Masuma Hasan’s Speech on Event in Memory of the Legendary Fatehyab Ali Khan

The legendary Pakistani politician Fatehyab Ali Khan (1936-2010) was for many years the Chairman of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Speaking to the members of PIIA in a session chaired by Dr Masuma Hasan on 1 October 2016, Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said: “Today we find that we are where Fatehyab left us and have not progressed after that. Article 6 of the Constitution failed to bring a culprit, a former head of state, to book, and allowed him to leave the country.” Dr Masuma’s speech is available below.

Honour Killings

This is a great article from the Telegraph entitled My family were chasing me. We knew they wouldn’t stop. This is their law’: Inside Pakistan’s hidden world of honour killings The rest of the article can be extracted as follows: The moment Rukhsana Bibi woke up, she knew her father had come to kill her. On a hot summer’s night in Pakistan, the newlyweds had pushed their bed out into the courtyard to sleep. But it was a noise from inside the ramshackle house that caused her, just sixteen, in love and pregnant, to wake with a start. “I shouted ‘Younis Younis. Wake up! Men are inside our home’,” she remembered. “Younis woke up and tried to grab one of them. But two people held him, while another shot two bullets at me. They both hit me in my chest. Younis was resisting, so they shot him too, in the arms, legs and chest. They shot him 11 times.” Four months earlier, Rukhsana had defied her family by eloping with her teenage love. An imam’s daughter and a top student who dreamed becoming a doctor, Rukshana had waited until the day of her Continue reading

‘Trump is a Xenophobic Fascist’ says Clooney

As things begin to hot up in the US presidential election, Donald Trump is being accused of bank fraud and mafia connection by the BBC. In this piece from the Guardian, Trump is accused of fascism and xenophobia: George Clooney opens the door of the Berlin hotel lounge and shakes hands like an ambassador. “Come on in,” says this paragon of modern Hollywood: a proper, old-fashioned movie star; a producer and occasionally director of interesting, intelligent films; and a furrowed-brow liberal political activist of not inconsiderable achievement. Who else would spend the morning after the premiere of his new film, the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!, confabbing with Angela Merkel about the international refugee crisis? He should be running for president, surely? Hail, Caesar! review – George Clooney bigger, broader, zanier in classic Coen caper. The Coen brothers put their signature quirky deadpan to good use in this gloriously watchable period caper about the golden era of Hollywood. Clooney chuckles indulgently. “I am a Hillary supporter. I am doing a fundraiser for her.” That’s a big endorsement; Clooney’s 2012 event for Obama raised more than $12m (£8.5m) in a single night. Continue reading

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan on Pakistan’s Foreign Relations

We recently republished this classic, from our archives, in the Pakistan Horizon. In his piece, Sir Zafrulla Khan commented on the inadequacy of resources for the fledgling, refugee state of Pakistan but he was full of hope for the future of the country. As stated on his Wikipedia page, he was a Pakistani jurist and diplomat who served as first the foreign minister of Pakistan and the first Muslim, Asian and only Pakistani president for both the UN General Assembly and also the International Court of Justice. Born in Sialkot, British India, Khan was educated as a lawyer at GCU and King’s College and served as a member of Punjab Legislative Council between 1926 till 1931. He was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London, England. An excellent paper by Victor Kattan entitled Decolonizing the International Court of Justice: The Experience of Judge Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan in the South West Africa Cases is well worth reading as well.

He became a member of the All-India Muslim League which led the Pakistan movement and served as the league’s president between 1931 and 1932. In 1935 he became the Minister of Railway of British India, and sat on the British Viceroy’s Executive Council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. Continue reading

One-Third of the World’s Women in Prison are Locked Up in America

From Identities.Mic: As you can see, it’s not even close. Citing data from the International Center for Prison Studies, Niall McCarthy of Statista visualizes how the United States housed nearly one-third of the globe’s incarcerated women in 2013. It’s a huge problem the American public has only begun to recognize.

The context: Recently, discussions around the rise of mass incarceration have focused largely on men, most notably, black men. Illustrating this is how 1 in 10 black American males is in prison on a given day, while black men remain nearly six times as likely to be imprisoned in their lifetime than their white peers. Continue reading

New Syria Ceasefire

As reported in the news, the US and Russia have agree to enforce new Syria ceasefire. A new deal between the US and Russia to enforce a ceasefire in Syria has been reached, with the cessation of hostilities set to come into force on 27 February. A report by diplomatic editor of the Guardian is extracted below: The ceasefire, subject to the agreement between the warring parties, would exclude Islamic State, al-Nusra Front and other groups deemed to be terrorist organisations. Scepticism about whether it can be enforced will be widespread after a previous planned ceasefire failed to take place. Instead, Russia continued its bombing campaign, sieges of starving towns were never lifted and other confidence-building measures ignored. Continue reading